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Men of the Cross (Battle Scars Book 1) by [Newcomb, Charlene]
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Men of the Cross (Battle Scars Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"... a resounding, epic novel of love and war... The love affair and the associated conflict that drives the story are handled exceedingly well... I was continually amazed at the dexterity with which Ms. Newcomb intertwined all of the facets of this story into a seamless, exceptionally well-written story. Not only do I highly recommend Men of the Cross to all readers of historical fiction and romance novels, I also recommend it to everyone who lives or open-mindedly supports the LGBT lifestyle..." --Reviewed by author Lex Allen for Readers' Favorite.

"Charlene Newcomb delivers an eye-opening novel in Men Of The Cross (Battle Scars). The author gave an insight into the diverse characters in this period of history and their way of life. I loved the strong bond between the knights and the love that blossomed between Henry and Stephan." --Reviewed by Lisa Jones for Readers' Favorite

Product Details

  • File Size: 1717 KB
  • Print Length: 355 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Blue X Entertainment (April 28, 2014)
  • Publication Date: April 28, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00K0TPEBG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #486,754 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The headline says it all, but the proof is in the reading.

You may not race through this book like you might others which have MM romantic inclinations, but you will feel that you are on Richard the Lionheart's crusade, bond with him, his knights, his family. This is done in a way that allows author Newcomb to leave him offstage most of the time to concentrate on two subtly delicious subplots: The desperately perilous and frustrating attraction between Sir Henry de Grey and Sir Stephan d'Aigle, one dark haired and one blond knight, respectively; and the giddy emergence from out of legend of the knight Robin and two street ruffians named Alan and Little John whom Robin and Henry and Stephan turn into knaves.

If Mary Renault had chosen to write about the Crusades instead of ancient Greece and Persia, she could not have done any better--and that is high praise, indeed.

Along the way there are truly brutal and sickening displays of man's indifferences and intolerance toward the lives of others, some of which may prompt you to stop reading for a while.

You will also meet three remarkable ladies in Richard's Queen Berengaria, his widowed sister Joanna, and his mother, the irrepressible Eleanor of Aquitaine. These three bring a refreshing change of pace, insight, and knowledge to the tale, especially when it comes to sorting out for themselves the intricate relationships between Richard and his knights that takes a full book (and it's a long book) to develop.

The attraction between Henry and Stephan is visceral and semi-tragic, and you can understand, but not quite forgive, Henry's terror if he thinks of pursuing Stephan (as Stephan has pursued him) based on the falsely manifested piety that the Church holds over the western world.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Movie producers and directors should take a serious look at Charlene Newcomb’s Battle Scars Series for either a movie or a mini-series. I believe this has blockbuster potential.

In Book 1 of Battle Scars Men of the Cross, author Charlene Newcomb created a mixture of war, post-traumatic stress disorder and a same sex relationship with a dash of romance and a subtle pinch of politics and religion.

When King Richard the Lionheart put out a call for brave men to join the pilgrimage to Jerusalem, Henry de Grey believed it was his duty for God, king and country to answer that call.While he had never been to battle, he was ready, if it was God’s will, to die on the battle field defending the cause.

Stephan L’Aigle, a seasoned and hardened Knight had been seventeen years old when he took up the Cross for Richard, not the Pope or the Church. Readers get a hint of Stephan’s character early in the story: “He ignored the throng of men around him and focused on Henry. That gaze unnerved Henry…” “You should stay and keep me warm.” And later when a woman propositions him: “I can help.” “I am afraid you have the wrong man, dear lady” Stephan replied.

While Henry and Stephan are the two main characters in Men of the Cross, readers will be introduced to Robin du Louviers, Little John, Allan and Marian. If these names sounds familiar then rest assured they are who you think they are: Robin Hood, Little John and Allan (the outlaws and Merry Men) and Maid Marian.

The book reveals the amount of research that Newcomb put into her writing. A bit of her research included clothing of the time, sights and smells, behavior of the horses, the clank of swords, the sound of stone throwers and the nightmares of the Knights.

I give this book “5 Starts.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Men of the Cross is historical fiction with two intertwined plot lines--the effects of the brutality of the crusades on young Henry de Grey, and his struggles with his growing feelings for his fellow knight, Stephan. Although the novel focuses on Henry and Stephan, their story is embedded within the larger tale of King Richard's crusade. Henry and Stephan befriend Robin Hood and other familiar figures of legend, and join King Richard's inner circle of trusted knights. Through their eyes, the crusade unfolds with excitement, passion, and historical accuracy.

This book appears to be the first in a series, but it stands well on its own. Although the story deals with some serious themes, there are plenty of light and humorous moments, and lots of action. I would consider this a fast, fun read, with serious overtones.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Newcomb brings a crusader's experience to life in Battle Scars. She explores issues of sexuality and social mobility in an era when rigid rules governed even the most private aspects of people's lives and tells a compelling love story against the backdrop of both tedious army life and terrifying battle.
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Format: Kindle Edition
menofthecross
When I started this book I expected a story about the Third Crusade; one that would bring to the fore the majesty and the folly of the venture. Those elements were certainly on display as the author leads the reader on an exciting, entertaining and surprisingly evocative tale. From the mustering of Richard's knights to the taking of Sicily and through all of the adventures they encountered before arriving at Acre. The action is portrayed in nice detail, the political intrigue between Richard and Phillip gives the reader a taste of what that time was like and mimics a little I suppose what our time is like even now...that old adage that history repeats. As to the characters, well I for one was drawn into their feelings, the ones of joy and the frequent bouts of sorrow and confusion. The two main protagonists are fictional characters, Henry DeGray and Stephan l'Aigle, two knights in the retinue of King Richard. Henry is on his first Crusade, indeed his first time going into harm's way while Stephan is a seasoned veteran having fought by Richard's side before. Neither one of them comes out of this adventure the same way they went in. So much angst, so much confusion, so much revilement, and yet so much love. Among the co-stars of this tale are the very real King Richard Lionheart, Sir Robin(yes that Robin), Allan(yes that Allan), Little John(yes oh you get it by now) :-) However, Robin and his two mates are given here with a slightly different slant...there is no taint of an outlaw to Robin and his companions are younger in this story and play some interesting roles throughout. Now as for Henry and Stephan, I cannot say enough about how well crafted these two are; kudos to Char. I recommend this book highly and cannot wait for the sequel.
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